Garden centers hope would-be green thumbs stay interested after pandemic gardening boom

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Garden centers enjoyed a pandemic boom, particularly with millennials, as people looked for outdoor activities during lockdowns. Now the question is, will those wannabe green thumbs stick with the habit?

In 2022, 80% of U.S. households took part in lawn and gardening activities, a five-year high, according to the National Gardening Association’s 2023 National Gardening Survey. Spending on lawn and gardening activities rose to an average of $616 per household in 2022, an increase of $74 from 2021.

Danny Summers, managing director of The Garden Center Group, which tracks sales of about 125 centers across the country, said sales are up by about 25% compared with 2019. But the sales totals flattened out between 2022 and 2023.

The spring season is crucial because garden centers can make about 60% of sales during the 12 weeks of spring, according to Summers. That’s particularly true for centers in the North since there are fewer months to plant.


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